Brazil has a long history of genre films, from the films of Zé do Caixão, or Coffin Joe through current films such as Good Manners and The Nightshifter. In Ghost Killers vs Bloody Mary, they take the legend of Bloody Mary, add some fake YouTube ghost hunters who rip off Ghostbusters and throw in a lot of gross humor.
A prank goes wrong and actually summons an evil spirit in a school bathroom. The unbelieving principal hires the Ghoulbusters, Caroline (Dani Calabresa), Fred (Léo Lins), Jack (Danilo Gentili) and Túlio (Murilo Couto). They’re frauds but they work cheap, so who better to get to calm the spooked students? Unfortunately, this is a real ghost and a distinctly evil one at that.
There is absolutely nothing subtle about Ghost Killers vs Bloody Mary. The sheer amount of blood thrown around is ridiculous, and that’s just for starters. around. One character uses the bathroom only to be attacked by their own shit. A used condom becomes a weapon. I did say it was gross out humor right?
However, while there is plenty of gross-out, the humor is a bit scarce. At first, I thought it might be the subtitles taking away from the jokes. But a quick look at some of the reviews from its home country seems to indicate it just isn’t that funny. A lot of the jokes are just silly, not at all funny. Such as Túlio wandering around in drag with half of his beard shaved. Or just too over the top like the demon fetus that uses its umbilical cord as a weapon before jerking off in someone’s face.
Maybe if director Fabrício Bittar and co-writers Andre Catarinacho and Danilo Gentili had come up with a better framework for the jokes more of them might have worked. Instead, it’s a lot of folks splitting up and running around and bumping into creatures. It’s like an R rated Scooby Doo, but Saturday Morning Massacre did that first, and much better.
Granted, Ghost Killers vs Bloody Mary isn’t actually boring. The weirdness and sheer WTF factor certainly kept me watching. But while it has Peter Jackson’s sense of the grotesque it doesn’t have his sense of humor and never really takes off.
I might actually watch this again when it comes to home video. I have a feeling it may play better when I don’t have to watch it sober. Raven Banner is sending Ghost Killers vs Bloody Mary out on the festival circuit, including a stop at Cinepocalypse. If it plays near you, feel free to test my theory out.